Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has fired out a warning to midfield pair Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira after they were both excluded from the squad that beat Watford on Sunday.
The duo have faced criticism this season for their underwhelming displays, while the impressive start of January arrival Bruno Fernandes means neither player is guaranteed a place in United's squad.
The Red Devils beat the Hornets 3-0 at Old Trafford without either star, as Bruno scored his first goal and provided an assist.
He said: “He [Fernandes] has come in from day one and felt like a presence in the group from the first minute, demanding the ball in training. Some players take some time in warming up, but he felt confident right away.
"It is a bit of a mix between Scholes and Verón, with the temperament of Verón and a lot of the quality of Scholesy."
Meanwhile, in contrast, Solskjaer also spoke about the notable absences of Lingard and Pereira to MUTV, suggesting the pair need to up their games to get back in the team.
Solskjaer said: "
"There's more and more competition for places. Your standard has to improve."
Absolutely incredible. pic.twitter.com/HTrT4HzYpX— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) February 23, 2020
The form of both players has been a major concern for United fans for a while now, with the pair - who have become symbols of the perceived declining standards at Old Trafford in recent years - scoring just one goal between them in the Premier League this season.
Solskjaer's seemingly ruthless approach will likely be well received by many United fans. However, it is possible that the likes of Lingard and Pereira will get another chance to prove themselves on Thursday when United play the second leg of their Europa League tie against Club Brugge.
The first leg finished 1-1 in Belgium, so the Red Devils still have work to do if they want to progress against the team sitting at the top of the Belgian Pro League.